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City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/23/10

December 23, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Final Joint Base Lewis-McChord Growth Coordination Plan Released: On Friday, December 17, 2010, the City released the final version of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Growth Coordination Plan. The plan culminated a year of planning and involved regional stakeholders most affected by the recent growth of the military. The plan summarized the importance of the role of the base and personnel in the region's economy and highlighted opportunities for improving services in the future. The plan can be accessed at Several media outlets have reported on the plan's findings, including KIRO radio, KPLU, Business Examiner, Suburban Times, Lakewood Patch, and the Puget Sound Business Journal. Implementation of the plan's forty-six strategies will begin in early 2011.
  • Soldier Killed in Afghanistan escorted home by LPD: On Sunday, December 12th, Sergeant Sean Collins was one of six soldiers from Ft. Campbell, KY killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan. On Monday December 20th, the Lakewood Police Department, joined by the Patriot Guard Riders and the Motor Escort Unit, escorted the remains of Sergeant Collins to the Woodlawn Funeral home in Lacey. This is a continuing practice by Lakewood PD as a way to honor those soldiers who serve, work and live within our community. The family was very thankful for the support and the honor shown to Sergeant Collins.
  • Public Works grant request on final approval list: Earlier this year, Public Works submitted two projects for possible grant funding through the State's "Safe Routes to School" program and it appears one will be funded. Our approved project involves installing sidewalks, curb ramps, and flashing beacons along the entire frontage of John Dower Elementary School. It also involves pedestrian and bicycle safety classes. The grant would cover $257,000 of this estimated $277,000 project. The Dower project was ranked 21st of 29 recommended projects, which gives it a good chance of being funded.
  • First Annual "Shop with an Officer" Program: On Saturday December 18, volunteer Officers from the LPD assisted the Lakewood Officers' Charity in conducting the first annual "Shop with an Officer" program. Working with counselors from the Clover Park School District, the Officers' Charity selected 13 children to participate. The children were picked up by Officers in their patrol cars and driven to the Lakewood Wal-Mart, where they shopped for their whole family. The presents were wrapped for them and all children in the family received a gift bag from Wal-Mart. Over 46 children and their parents will receive gifts through this program. This was funded by a grant from Wal-Mart and a matching grant from the Lakewood Officers' Charity.
  • Lakewood resident charged with animal cruelty/neglect: Animal Control learned of a resident's guilty verdict last week on a cruelty/neglect 2nd degree charge (gross misdemeanor). Sentencing is in Jan 2011. The reporting party requested a welfare check on a dog that was living in poor conditions and was very thin. When LPD Animal Control Officers made contact with the owner, they found the dog deceased in its outside chain link kennel. The owner said she fed it 2 days earlier but could not tell them the last time she had seen the dog. Veterinarian Kelly Roberti did a pro bono necropsy and determined the dog had been starved to death.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/17/10

December 17, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City Hall Scheduling: There will be no council meetings the last two Mondays of December. Furthermore, City Hall will be closed on December 24th and 31st in recognition of the Christmas and New Years holidays.
  • Public Works now posting on Twitter: Lakewood Police have been on Twitter for several months now and Public Works recently started to post (or "tweet") key information from the Lakewood Police Twitter page. Citizens can sign up at and chose to follow "LakewoodPD" in order to get LPD updates and public works updates such as road closures, snow and ice removal, and other street maintenance information on a "real time" basis.
  • Judge Heller sworn in at UP Muni-Court: On December 13th, Judge Ernest Heller was sworn in as the University Place Municipal Court Judge. University Place Municipal Court will begin operations on January 3, 2011 at Lakewood City Hall. Judge Heller received a warm reception from the UP City Council and staff, who expressed their thanks and appreciation for Judge Heller's appointment and the collaborative efforts from both cities.
  • Flood Control Zone District: The legal department continues to represent the City in challenging the improper formation of the County's Flood Control Zone District. The City was joined by the cities of DuPont and University Place in this appeal. Gig Harbor, Milton, Edgewood, and Ruston have appealed in two additional actions.
  • Public Works Food Drive for Tilllicum-Woodbrook: Each year the Public Works Department leads an effort to support Lakewood families in need during the Christmas season. In light of so many needs this year, the department worked with the Tillicum-Woodbrook Community Service Center (TWCSC) to help fill their food bank with hard-to-get protein staples - tuna and peanut butter. Between Thanksgiving and now, 669 jars of peanut butter and 1,587 cans of tuna were delivered to the community center in Tillicum. Other city departments and several Public Works vendors supported this effort by donating $1,150 in cash and hundreds of cans of food.
  • LPD Teaches Rape Aggression Defense: LPD's Gail Conelly, Correne Buck and Lt. Steve Mauer will conduct a Rape Aggression Defense class starting Friday December 17th. This 12-hour class is taught over 4 evenings. The first class focuses on steps women should take to prevent an attack. The next two classes teach physical defense techniques and the last class is called dynamic simulation. In that class the women suit up with protective gear and then utilize the techniques learned against two heavily suited aggressor instructors. This class has 19 women enrolled. The next class will be held in February. There is no charge for the class.
  • Employee Recognition Breakfast: The City's management team cooked breakfast for about 200 employees on Thursday, December 15th. Two employees epitomizing the guiding principle of "respect" were recognized in front of their peers: Accounting Tech Tammi Dove from the Finance Department and Police Sgt John Fraser. Councilmembers Thomas, Whalen, and Brandstetter joined staff during this year end celebration.
  • Human Services Funding Plan Adopted: Lakewood City Council recently adopted recommendations from the Human Services Funding Advisory Board to fund 32 programs delivering social services to Lakewood citizens. The Human Services Coordinator provided training and technical assistance to each of the agencies in preparation for contracting with the City. Technical assistance included review of City contract and our outcome based performance requirements. The City is committed to ensure the highest level of accountability for the investment of City resources.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/3/10

December 3, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • Community Development to send out Business License Renewal notices: The Community Development Department is preparing to send annual business license renewal notices to all currently licensed businesses within the City of Lakewood. Approximately 4,100 notices will be mailed out the week of December 6. All current business licenses will expire on December 31, 2010. The Lakewood Municipal Code allows applicants to renew their licenses by the end of February 2011 before late charges are assessed.
  • Police Memorial Dedication: The Lakewood Police Department remembered our four fallen officers with a memorial dedication event at the station on November 29. Over 500 attendees listened to remarks from the city manager, Mayor Richardson, and Governor Gregoire. Chief Farrar dedicated the recently completed Fallen Officer Memorial, that will forever provide a reminder of the sacrifice those four officers made on that day in 2009.
  • Fallen Officers Food Drive: The 1st Annual Fallen Officers Food Drive has been a great success. At last count, the Emergency Food Network has taken in over $33,000 in donations and over 25,000 pounds of food.
  • Breakfast with the Commander: The mayor and city manager attended a breakfast meeting at Joint Base Lewis McChord on November 30th with General Curtis Scaparrotti, the new commanding general of Fort Lewis (1st Corps). The session included an overview of JBLM issues, including traffic congestion on I-5 and our Community Connector relationship with the 4-2 Stryker Brigade.
  • Change of Command for 4-2 Stryker Brigade: Lakewood's "Community Connector", the 4-2 Stryker brigade, which was the last combat Stryker brigade to leave Operation Iraqi Freedom conducted its change of command ceremony on November 30th. Colonel John Norris relinquished command to Colonel Michael Getchell. The mayor, deputy mayor Anderson, and councilmember Moss were in attendance, along with the city manager, and communications/gov't relations director.
  • First Responder Appreciation Day: On December 1st, Lakewood 1st Lions Club and Umpqua Bank celebrated 1st Responders Appreciation Day by bringing two cakes with the words "You are our Heroes" and ice cream to the Lakewood Police Department. Chief Farrar cut the cake and all personnel celebrated the special event.
  • Demolition begins on properties in Tillicum: Demolition has begun on three red-tagged buildings at a property in Tillicum. A multi-agency inspection in July 2010 found the buildings to have numerous building code violations rendering them unsafe for use, an attractive nuisance dangerous to children, and fire hazards. A Notice and Order to Abate Dangerous Buildings and Public Nuisance was issued, however the property owner has been working with the city to bring the property into compliance.
  • DUI Victim's Panel Award to LPD officer: The Tacoma-Pierce County DUI Victim's Panel awarded Lakewood Officer Mark Holthaus recognition for his dedication and efforts to make the community safer at its annual awards event on November 19th in Fife. Ass't Chief Mike Zaro attended the event.
  • CSRT attends International Association of Emergency Managers Conference: CSRT Leader Lt. Mauer spent 4 days in San Antonio TX at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Conference. This was a grant-funded conference with the assistance of Lakewood Fire who also had representatives there. Lt. Mauer went to presentations including an update on US Army North preparations for manmade disasters and natural disasters in North America, FEMA presentation on strengthening community resilience and efforts to prepare for disasters, Defense support of civil authorities, the director of FEMA Craig Fugate on FEMA, Lessons learned at Fort Hood, Building collaborations through public/private partnerships, Military/local community connections and application of defense support of civil authorities, Deep water horizon - 3 key components of an effective response. He was also able to get information on equipment that can be used by the City of Lakewood to help in the response to a disaster/emergency.
  • CSRT attends Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County Annual Fundraising Luncheon: Lt. Mauer is on the board of the Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County and was one of the coordinators for this year's annual fundraising luncheon, held in Tacoma with over 200 people attending. The speaker was KOMO 4 News Anchor Molly Shen and the emcee was Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. Over $18,000 was donated and or pledged to support the mission of providing advocacy and counseling for victims.
  • CSRT inspects apartment complexes for safety hazards: On November 9, a team organized by CSRT inspected two apartment complexes in Lakewood that were believed to have serious life safety hazards present. The team included representatives from PSE, L & I, and City of Lakewood building inspectors. The inspections were conducted on a voluntary basis with each apartment resident being contacted and asked permission to enter and check for life safety hazards. Every tenant who was contacted gave consent and the results of the inspections were seven water heaters shut off and capped so no natural gas could leak as well as two furnaces and two stoves being shut off for the same reasons. The owner of the complexes was advised of the problems identified and had all the occupied apartments repairs done within 48 hours. This was a very successful endeavor that resulted in the improved living conditions for numerous families.
  • CSRT and Public Works staff investigate apartment complex flooding issue: Public Works Staff Diana Halar and CSRT Staff Gail Conelly visited a local apartment complex to discuss issues of flooding. There were complaints from residents that the flooding was causing children to have to walk through large puddles of water to get to school, as well as vehicles having problems driving through the puddles. Staff contacted the property manager and recommended that the catch basin be cleaned out, which it was, then offered additional recommendations to keep the catch basin clear and avoid flooding. The property manager was very receptive and agreed to also contact adjacent properties to work together to try to come to a resolution regarding the flooding issue.
  • CSRT assists with vehicle storage issue: CSRT members, along with the cooperation of a property owner, were able to bring a property maintenance issue to a close. A local auto repair shop had approximately 35-40 inoperable vehicles on the property which created an eyesore. CSRT contacted the owner and advised him on methods for compliance. The property owner worked together with a local towing company to have all of the vehicles removed. The property is no longer considered to be a vehicle storage nuisance.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 12/10/10

December 10, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City tackles Pre-Thanksgiving Day - Snow Fall Event: Throughout the recent snow event, Public Works with the support of Parks personnel maintained a 24 hour street sanding and de-icing operation. The operation started on Sunday November 21st prior to the snow with an application of a de-icing agent to the streets. Unfortunately, the weather front produced a little rain which negated that effort so it was stopped. On Monday the 22nd at 7:00 a. m., the de-icing operation started up again and continued until the crew transitioned into a sanding and deicing operation by 3:30 p. m. The sanding and de-icing operation continued non-stop until 4:00 p.m. on the 24th. The City had all its equipment out which consisted of two dump trucks equipped with snow plows and sand spreaders, a 1-ton pickup equipped with a snow plow and a drop-in sanding unit, and a flat bed truck rigged for deicing. During the peak of the snow fall, the City's operation was overwhelmed as were other agencies' operations within the Puget Sound area. With 181 center-line miles or 485 lane miles of streets to maintain during this event, the crew's efforts were limited to maintaining the drivability of South Tacoma Way, Bridgeport Way and Steilacoom Blvd. In total the crew spread 150 tons of sand, 60 tons of salt and applied 2,500 gallons of de-icing agent. The total miles covered by the materials were in excess of 450 lane miles. The total operational cost for this 4-day snow event was about $20,700.
  • Lakewood hosts University Place municipal court launch reception: The Cities of Lakewood and University Place hosted a celebratory event on November 30th to recognize the formation of the new University Place Municipal Court, to be located at Lakewood City Hall. University Place entered into an interlocal agreement with the City of Lakewood to provide municipal court, prosecution and public defender services, which will commence on January 1, 2011. The program included a presentation on the municipal court process by Judge Heller and the Court Administrator, as well as comments by both mayors. The 60 attendees present also toured Court and Legal facilities, including the holding cell and inmate transport van. Both Cities' officials and staff were very complimentary of the program and information presented.
  • LPD Detective earns Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst status: Detective Bryan Johnson earned the certification level of "Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst" (CSCSA). This is the highest level of International Crime Scene Investigation Certification governed by the IAI (International Association for Identification) There are currently fewer than 350 people in the U.S. and Canada who have achieved the "Senior Crime Scene Analyst" Certification and only 10 in the Pacific NW Region.
  • City staff briefs Lakewood Organization of Community Active Landlords (LOCAL) on medical marijuana: CSRT Attorney Mike Savage spoke to Lakewood Organization of Community Active Landlords (LOCAL) regarding medical marijuana, at their November monthly meeting. Some landlords were seeking information about the legality of tenants smoking or growing marijuana in their apartments when they claimed it was for medical purposes. Under the state medical marijuana statute codified in RCW Chapter 69.51A, qualified patients can possess, use and grow marijuana for medical purposes under certain legal conditions, but not in public view. Mike suggested that landlords call the police if they observed marijuana being consumed or possessed in their apartment building, since it is law enforcement's responsibility to evaluate whether the use of marijuana is lawful under the medical marijuana statute.
  • CSRT staff attends meeting with Joint Base Lewis-McChord Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board: Lt. Mauer participated in a meeting at Joint Base Lewis-McChord with the Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board on December 1st. This Board has representatives from all branches of the military which discuss a wide range of issues related to military personnel. The meeting included discussion of issues with bars in Lakewood and the process for that Board to assist with problems at local bars. There was reference to the courtesy patrol which is very popular with Lakewood PD and Tacoma, as well as the local bar owners, and there were assurances that the courtesy patrol would continue.
  • 14 from Lakewood complete emergency First Aid and CPR training: Fourteen local residents completed First Aid and CPR training through the City's Emergency Sheltering program on Saturday, December 4th. The American Red Cross provided the instruction, and the training fees were paid by a Pierce County Emergency Sheltering grant award. In a crisis situation, if the City opens emergency shelter sites, we now have many shelter volunteers trained in first aid and CPR who can assist evacuees. The First Baptist Church of Lakewood has provided continuing strong support of the City's sheltering program.
  • Additional arrests in Wal-Mart homicide case: Major Crimes/Homicide Detectives made three arrests this week of subjects who helped the defendants in the Wal-Mart homicide case from last year. An adult male and two adult females were taken into custody and booked for rendering criminal assistance.
  • CSRT conducts briefing to Lakewood's Public Safety Advisory Committee on their progress: Lt. Steve Mauer presented information on the Community Safety Resource Team to the Lakewood's Public Safety Advisory Committee on December 1st, including a review of the latest progress report. In addition, he presented information on gated communities, traffic symbols for bike lanes and also discussed crime stats in the city. Committee members' questions were recorded for follow-up.
  • HR Director earns recertification as IPMA Certified Professional: HR Director Debra Young received notice that she has met all of the criteria to be recertified as an IPMA-HR Certified Professional (IPMA-CP), for the next three years. The requirements of this certification include continuous education and a leadership role in a recognized professional human resource association.

City Manager's Weekly Info Bulletin 11/19/10

November 19, 2010
To: Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Andrew Neiditz, City Manager

  • City staffmember honored at Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau Symposium: Melody Perrussel of the City's economic development staff was honored at the Tacoma Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau's (TRCVB) Tourism Matters Symposium on November 17th with the "Pierce County Tourism Community Unity" award. She was nominated for her excellent work with the Lodging Tax recipients and working with the various tourism partners to aid Lakewood's exposure to grow tourism in Lakewood and Pierce County. TRCVB is launching a new program called "Undercover Tourism" that is designed to help people throughout our region to discover tourism "gems" and destinations all in short distances from home. Further information is available at
  • Veterans Recognition and Welcome Reception for 4th Stryker Brigade: Colonel John Norris, commander of the 4-2 Stryker Brigade, gave a presentation highlighting the "Raider" Brigade's historical deployment to Iraq during the council meeting on November 15th. The 4-2, which has a Community Connector relationship with Lakewood, was the last Stryker brigade to leave Operation Iraqi Freedom. A group of local scouts were on hand at the council meeting to observe and to interact with soldiers from Lakewood's adopted brigade. The items donated to the City by the brigade will be posted in city hall, such as the "Phase Line Lakewood" sign that had been posted at the border between Iraq and Kuwait. The City also paid tribute to local veterans; photos of the reception can be viewed under "latest news" at Colonel Norris was also the featured speaker at the Lakewood Rotary Club on November 12th.
  • Towne Center properties coordination: As a follow up to a previous meeting last year, the city manager and senior economic development staff met with the managers of the properties in the Lakewood Towne Center to discuss issues of mutual concern. The agenda included updates on the various properties, needs and opportunities, security, parking, and shopping carts. Of particular interest was the report on the effectiveness of increased security, and the response to groups of young people loitering, especially with the upcoming holiday shopping season. There are 14 distinct properties of which seven were represented at the meeting.